Reducing IGE levels for food allergies and asthma
This original post was published in December of 2012. The updates (in italics) are from May of 2015. Since that date, I’ve done a handful of interviews that discuss IgE, food allergies, and asthma:
So we had a 6 month follow up with the allergist after my other post on lowering IGE levels. I’ll open with what I think is the core of her, and all the other allergists I’ve seen, approach… “…Well I don’t think there’s any use in tracking that with my asthma patients. I just don’t see how that could be of any value in my management of their asthma.” Now I’m paraphrasing, but in a nutshell that is what she said to my question regarding the connection between elevated cholesterol and liver function and asthma and the studies that show a link between the two… and how people with liver disease (not saying we have it) can have elevated IGE levels because b-cells can be differentiated into IGE antibodies in the LIVER and taking steps to detox the liver and improve its function can lower IGE levels….
(I should add that years back my son had a cholesterol test – standard blood draw panel from the chiropractor that we went to see – and it was slightly elevated – at the time he was in the 25% for weight).
Look, I’ll be the first to admit it. I did not go to medical school. I read and think about lowering my son’s IGE levels and healing him… maybe a bit too much. And, I’ve turned my life upside down on this quest. But it doesn’t mean that I’m not onto something.
Then she followed up the earlier statement with a chuckle and a “It’s not like I’m a hepatologist. Why don’t you talk to your pediatrician about that.” Not to go off on a total rant, but it’s amazing to me how we can discuss in the corporate world the idea that “silos” are bad – that is the disconnect between departments in a structure or group that is trying to achieve a common goal. It makes for redundant and sometimes counter-effective efforts, major opportunities for screw ups, and it just sucks resources out when smaller efforts would be equally if not more effective – if there was just productive cross communication between departments. So why have we allowed our health care to be silo’ed – oh sorry, I just woke up – profits.
Ok enough of a rant. I think I made my point. And this experience further affirms for me the need to really see most doctors as tools. Not that they are stupid or bad – but ultimately you as a patient on the pursuit of health need to recognize that you must consult the professionals and then go off and do your own due diligence before just taking their word for what is best. Doctors ultimately, the majority of them at least, are, as my allergist above so eloquently put it, in the the field of disease and illness “management.” Do not expect them to heal you.
But back to our IGE update. So status as of this visit (and I’m working on a graph):
IGE back up to 1165 from 1072 in June
Asthma issue not so good – could be from cold but also tells me I’m not doing my best.
Asthma action plan:
Back to flovent 1 puff 2 times a day, and when he has a cold – 2 puffs 2 times a day.
Skin test for avocado negative – so we are super slowly – in an effort to manage my anxiety with the process – going to introduce over the next couple weeks. My son, who is nursing cold, was so excited at the prospect of a new food that he begged me to give him some when we got home. I, of course in total neurotic me fashion, gave him a small dot of a smidge on the tip of one fork prong.
Avocado Allergy Update:
After this initial introduction, my son complained of itchy mouth. The doctor suggested we do food challenge in the clinic. Between co-pay & what insurance wouldn’t cover, we were looking at approximately, $800. Months passed. I discussed with allergist again. She said that it was highly unlikely avocado would cause anaphylaxis at the IgE level he had – so we did super slow 2nd intro in guac. He did well, and now eats avocado several times a week.
We can focus less on weight gain – my son is in the 60% (this time last year 25-50%) for his age and weight. Now I can pull back on the carbs and push more veggies (which I have always done – but before I’ve let him eat more carbs just for calories). I think this weight gain is about the camel milk. He has gained nearly 10 pounds over the last 12 months – in comparison to a 2-3 pound weight gain in years prior.
Now what does the above mean moving forwards?
Well I am scheduled to speak with herbalist in the next 2 weeks. I want to discuss modifying our protocol – I really don’t feel like I am getting a payoff for the efforts it takes to get him to swallow the 28 or so (not counting vitamins) capsules a day. I feel like after 1.5 years, we’d see more improvement – even with our not so great compliance these last couple months. I’ve read about some other herbs that have been shown to be much more potently IGE decreasing.
Chinese Herbs and IgE levels update:
after an interview with Dr Li discussing the Chinese herbs, I better understand that IgE is not the most reliable indicator of the herbs’ efficacy. Read Dr Li interview.
I feel like we’ve experienced the IGE curve they discussed in the study where they used 1 gram of sodium ascorbate with some children who had elevated IGE levels and other issues as well – but basically within the first 6 months, IGE levels dropped only to slowly rise back up to they began over the following 1.5 years.
Vitamin C for asthma & allergies update:
We now use this vitamin C on and off. We are on and off flovent – and he is doing well (no asthma symptoms – knock on wood). If he starts sneezing a lot or coughs (even 1x during the day – and I know it’s an allergy asthma thing) we immediately kick into vitamin C and back on flovent. It’s high pollen season here, and we are doing well (kow). Also, his last pft was good.
I am examining some probiotic options – of course the strains that I can find that are linked to reducing IGE levels – are currently in mixtures grown on and containing traces of dairy – still verbotten.
Probiotics for food allergies & asthma update:
We are on a major probiotic protocol:
this yeast metabolite
this heat killed probiotic
this dosage of ALA (split in half – so 1/2 cap with breakfast, 1/2 cap with dinner)
In addition to l. gasseri and multi-vitamins
This next year will be about the liver – I have a theory about my son. My theory is this – he got completely thrown out of whack with the antibiotics in the first moments of his life – so his flora got totally set off in the wrong direction. Then, and this is before that, I believe that in the womb or somewhere after, his liver became loaded with toxins. I don’t want to go into too much self beating here – but I just was not the most thoughtful pregnant woman – dietwise, home remodeling-wise… just not thoughtful. Also, I do believe that all the vaccines added fuel to this combo and that coupled with a possible propensity for IGE production (his father has allergies to cats and possibly eggs) made for a perfect storm. And now it’s my job to make it right.
So back to the liver – 2013 – the year of liver detox.
Liver detox update:
It’s now 2015, and I do believe our above protocol has assisted in liver detox – as well as helping us reduce asthma symptoms while getting off asthma meds periodically. Regarding ALA (Dr Levy and others have stressed the low & slow dosage), we tried the every 4 hour micro dose on weekends. I couldn’t sustain. We do 1/2 dosage 2 x time – pulsing on one month, and off the next – in order to not over chelate helpful minerals.
Bring back the veggie juice campaign. I’m going to reinstate the veggie juice efforts with my son to get his antioxidant capacity boosted. Important all around – especially for asthma. I may break out the blender or other modern day device to overcome the obstacle of cleaning my juicer after each use. Another 2013 push – something is better than nothing perfect. IE, blender usage for juicing or smaller juicer – for me better than not doing it because I don’t have time or energy to haul out my big juicer.
Bring back kung fu – we stopped going to kung fu in the summer because the teacher we were studying under kind of went over the deep end. I’ve found another school I’m happy with – but it involves a drive and $150/month. I think though now, that part of what made his pft test better in June was all the nutritional efforts, the first 6 month boost of vit C, and kung fu.
Links to articles that inspired above:
Sodium ascorbate and IGE
Cholesterol and asthma
Liver and IGE
Liver X receptors control IGE expression in B cells
Increase antioxidant capacity with fruit and vegetable consumption
Antioxidant capacity and pulmonary function
Further Supplements and Research based on above:
I did a recent post on 20 Vitamins that Reduce Asthma and Allergies & Modulate the Immune System here.